Discover exquisitely crafted pieces by emerging and established creative talents
When Rosh Mahtani graduated from Oxford University with a degree in French and Italian, she had no idea where her career would take her. It was while working as a visual merchandiser at an online fashion retailer that she embarked on a course in wax-carving in London’s Hatton Garden, and suddenly saw a way to combine her passion for style with her love of literature, by crafting elegant jewellery inspired by the poems in Dante’s Divine Comedy. Her brand, Alighieri, now has a turnover of more than £3 million and commands a loyal fashion following, with Mahtani recently winning the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design (www.alighieri.co.uk).
Conceived as a way of closing the gap between fine jewellery and high-street designs, Monica Vinader’s eponymous brand was established in 2002. Vinader inherited a love of beautiful objects from her parents, who ran an antiques business; she initially focused on making bespoke pieces for private clients but gradually expanded to meet consumer demand. Today, her range of colourful gemstone pieces, grown-up friendship bracelets and sustainably sourced diamond creations is stocked at retailers including Net-A-Porter, Selfridges and Harrods, as well as in the brand’s own boutiques (www.monicavinader.com).
Dinny Hall first attracted attention when, on completing her course at London’s Central Saint Martins, she sold her entire graduation collection to Liberty; a year later, in 1985, she launched her own brand with a selection of pieces made using natural materials such as leather and wood. More than three decades on, Hall’s designs have remained consistently popular, though today her signature style is more classical, with her latest motifs including petals, folded hearts, crescent moons and sunbeams (www.dinnyhall.com).
From his atelier in Bermondsey, Alex Monroe works with specialist craftspeople to make his intricate, nature-inspired jewellery. Best known for his hallmark bumblebee motif, he has also designed collections themed around the ocean – featuring tiny starfishes, delicate coral branches and bejewelled seahorses – natural history (look out for the stegosaurus necklace) and even Doctor Who, as well as creating bespoke pieces to order (www.alexmonroe.com).
Tania Clarke Hall
Exhibited at international galleries and sold in museum shops including those of the V&A and the Tate, Tania Clarke Hall’s jewellery is the very definition of ‘wearable art’. Working in leather, Clarke Hall produces experimental pieces that can be worn in diverse ways, whether twisted, wrapped or draped around the body. From freeform circles to dramatic ruffles, her eye-catching, geometrically inspired designs make a bold statement (www.taniaclarkehall.com).
The former Burberry ready-to-wear designer Sophie McKay founded the ethical-jewellery brand Bar in 2016 as a way of uniting her creative instincts with her desire to build more sustainability into the fashion industry. All of her pieces are handmade in London by skilled artisans and many are crafted using recycled silver. Simple yet sculptural, featuring architecturally inspired shapes and vintage references, they have caught the eye of A listers including Emma Watson, Jenna Coleman and Naomi Harris (www.barjewellery.com).
Article written by Frances Hedges, Acting Deputy Editor of Harper’s Bazaar UK and Town & Country